Category: LinkedIn Tips

What You May Be Doing Wrong with Your Résumé and Why It’s Costing You the Interview

By Mill Montejo – The #JobSearchSuperhero

 

Why do job seekers insist on using one-page fancy/sexy resumes with photos that are hurting their chances of being selected for the interview? 

They’re sexy and short but the ATS doesn’t like them. Use them for the interview ONLY instead.

 

The answer here is that whoever is passing along this information must not be doing the research by speaking to the engineers of companies like Adobe, and the makers of ATS systems. If they did, they would realize that “No, lean/short résumés don’t really work with today’s ATS systems. Résumés have been getting longer and longer for more than ten years now. There are still recruiters who suggest one-page résumés, which is 1990s thinking. The nature of the workplace has changed dramatically since then. Young people can expect to change jobs 15 times or more during their careers, and even if they stay with the same company longer than 5 years, product-to-market times are so short that a résumé will contain lots of significant projects and title changes.”

-Pat Criscito – CPRW

Artificial Intelligence is the “first impression” that gets you the interview now.

 

 

Not only do short one page resumes not offer enough space to write all the keywords necessary to be scored higher by the ATS, but they don’t allow you to create enough white space for readability, and to include all the relevant information for consideration. “The most important thing is to get the résumé selected from the ATS system in the first place. Otherwise, it won’t be read at all. If that means the résumé has to be a bit longer, then so be it.” -Pat Criscito.

 

So the fancy one page resumes created in Adobe Photoshop, or PowerPoint with the candidates photograph on it are likely not being seen by a human because 1) they do not parse well when uploaded/submitted through a website, 2) if they are in PDF format there is a chance they will not be seen, and 3) the inclusion of the candidate’s photograph is actually frowned upon by most HR Dept’s because they want to avoid the appearance of practicing any “ageism” in their hiring practices.

 

A longer resume allows for additional keywords and white space for readability.

 

What is it about keywords and how can I make sure I’m using them correctly?

Our resident Job Search Superhero at The Talent Mill writes lots about keywords, keywords, keywords. The reason is that this is where the initial recruiting and hiring process is handled. With so many applicants applying to limited jobs companies employ the help of machine learning software first before a human even sees the resume. This makes it a priority for either you or your resume writer to always identify targeted keywords from the job advertisement you are pursuing, and work to insert them into appropriate sections of your career document.

Please DO NOT believe the misguided advice that résumés should only be one page in length. At the National Resume Writers Association, writers subscribe to the idea that a modern, professional resume should be “as long as it needs to be to present relevant, concise information that will properly position the candidate and distinguish them from the competition. If that can be accomplished in one page fine, but we should not get hung up on the length of the resume as long as it includes relevant and targeted information.”

-Norine D’Agliano – Résumé Writer & Trainer

You should also keep in mind that a longer resume can create more keyword density and is likely to be scored higher by the Applicant Tracking System. Optimizing your resume with targeted keywords from the job ad is an excellent strategy when you are trying to work less at your job search. A keyword-dense resume will help recruiters find and contact you instead of the other way around.

In this digital job market each resume must be targeted to the job advertisement keywords.

 

Why are “keywords” so crucial in today’s job search?

Even though you must first know what problems companies in your target industry are having that they need to solve in order to sell your skills to them, using the right keywords is the first ticket to the interview because they will be reviewed and selected by a software search string (whatever the recruiter or hiring managers enter). Keywords are job-specific terms, industry-specific language and abbreviation, jargon, acronyms, and even buzzwords.” Keywords in a resume should mirror the industry and employer language. See some examples of industry keywords below that should also be inserted into LinkedIn and your resume to help them match you to open jobs.

  • Degrees (e.g., “MBA,” “BA in Business Administration with a Minor in Marketing”)
  • Industry Certifications (e.g., “CCNA,” “CPA,” “CFA,” “MCP” “CPRW” “NCRW” “ACRW”)
  • Job Titles (e.g., “District Manager,” “Pharmaceutical Sales,” “Administrative Assistant,” “Operations Manager”)
  • Job Functions (e.g., “Office Management,” “Payroll,” “Grant Writing”)
  • Computer Applications (e.g., “MS Office Suite,” “Word,” “Excel” “PowerPoint” “Publisher” “Visual Basic” “VBScript”)
  • Industry-Specific Terms and Programs    (e.g., “Six Sigma Black Belt,” “HIPAA Compliant”)
  • Employer or School Names (Names of employers are used to recruit from the competition)
  • Hard Skills (e.g., “Web Development,” “Network Security,” “Accounting”)
  • Soft Skills (e.g., “Teambuilding,” “Problem-Solving”)

 

Keyword Stuffing

When stuffing your LinkedIn profile and resume with job-specific keywords you should always try to follow the writing methods that professional resume writers use to maximize keyword density. They include all possible formats of the keyword somewhere on your resume.

For example, here’s how a professional with an MBA listed this qualification on her resume:

UNIVERSITY NAME – City, ST

Master of Business Administration (MBA), 2004

Earned a master’s degree in business administration while working full-time.

In the example above both “MBA,” “Master of Business Administration,” and “master’s degree” were included, so that regardless of how a recruiter entered this keyword combination during a search, their resume would be “found” and register a “hit.”

 

One warning: DO NOT type in additional keywords in a white colored font to attempt to game the system by making the extra keywords invisible to the human eye. The ATS will still be able to read them in the underlying code. The reason I say this is because when the recruiter receives your resume it will be sent as an image with all of the keywords the recruiter selected (and you typed in white) highlighted in yellow. You will be BUSTED, and never to be trusted, and it is very likely that your resume will wind up in the trash.

 

 

How do I know if a small company is using an ATS to sort through resumes?

From our research as well as colleague Pat Criscito’s extensive research and ATS Engineer interviews we know that “100% of Fortune 1000 companies use ATS and 80% of small/medium businesses use them (100 to 15,000 employees).” We know for a fact that small companies create more jobs in the U.S. than larger companies. We should also keep in mind that many companies outsource their hiring tasks to recruiters and almost 100% of them use Applicant Tracking Software.

So the bottom line is that there may be many companies and individuals out here trying to sell you on using a one page-resume, or putting your photo into the resume, or promising you a great resume in one day for $49-99. These should be seen as red flags and possible scams. Our most recent client paid a company that said they were in California $250 for a resume and from the language and grammar used in the resume she said she realized they were probably somewhere overseas and that she had been scammed. She then had to pay us to write her a modern professional resume that she could be proud to use in her job search. She wound up spending about $600 by trying to save a few bucks and not doing her research online. When searching for writing professionals, one should not only search google but also search industry websites like The NRWA’s professional resume writer listings where many of the writers have been helping job seekers for decades. Remember that not everyone that hangs an internet shingle up is authentic, professional, and experienced. Do you want to trust your chances at getting called for the interview to just anyone?

Best of luck in your job search!  

 

About the author

Mill Montejo is a tech-savvy résumé & LinkedIn profile writer, an active member of The National Résumé Writers Association. She runs a small home-based business with a small team of writers in the Greater NYC area serving jobseekers in NY/NJ as well as from across the country via remote screen share & web chat. Changing careers? Need your career documents modernized or infused with industry keywords? Contact Mill at https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form

Don’t Hire a Résumé Writer Before Taking These Preparation Steps

For those of you who have been out of the job search for years or maybe even decades the barebones classified section of the Sunday newspaper may come as a surprise. Gone are the days when you could pick up a couple of the local Sunday papers and circle job opening ads that you could easily fax, or email your generic résumé to.

Today’s 21st Century digital job market can begin on your smartphone and an internet search, and winds a job candidate through tunnels and caverns of steps from the initial application process, through perhaps several interviews, until you get to the final decision stage. Since this process can be so daunting and a job in itself, many folks enlist the help of a résumé writer or career coach who can help them put their best foot forward. What some don’t understand is that career coaching and even résumé and LinkedIn profile writing MUST BE a collaborative process between the client and the writer. 

The writer cannot create a compelling career story without your input.

  • You will be throwing away the money you pay the writer if you pay and then disappear expecting them to write your career story without your detailed information.
  • You risk not providing enough material to the writer that helps them create a keyword optimized résumé that boasts about 1000 characters (with spaces) within a two-page résumé.
  • Yes, a two-page résumé by the mere fact that it is two pages allows for a more keyword infused document that applicant tracking systems like.
  • At The Talent Mill / #JobSearchSuperhero we believe that a résumé’s length should be determined by the client’s years of service, their industry, the number of relevant awards, courses, certifications. In other words, each project is different, and it is not a sin to use a two page or even a three-page résumé.

So, before you search for and hire a résumé writer, you should prepare by doing the following.

*Write down notes about your career story or answer a couple of the writer’s questionnaires to provide them with content, clarity, and clear/concise information for the writer to tell a compelling career story and highlight key points in your accomplishments.

We believe that everyone can come up with accomplishments if he or she thinks back on his or her life. Keep in mind these essential facts while writing:

  • What kind of job are you seeking? To target your resume so that an actual person will see it, you should provide at least two job advertisements to the writer.
  • The writer can then scan the document against the job ad to make sure that the targeted industry and job role keywords are in your new resume. The days when you could use a “basic resume” to submit to a potential employer are long gone. It would significantly improve your chances of your résumé being seen by a human if you edit each résumé before you upload it to a corporate or recruiter website to apply for an advertised position. Your résumé will be analyzed by algorithms using whatever search query the hiring manager or recruiter entered on their end. That is why keyword dense (2 page) résumés for a mid-career to upper management person increases their chances of hitting the right target keywords and selected to be shown to the recruiter in a search for candidates.
  • What are your job titles? If you have had many years of service/employment for the same company, you must have changed roles or moved up the corporate ladder. It would be best if you were prepared to provide the writer with the job title, dates held, accomplishments, and description of what the role is.
  • What are your accomplishments? To make your resume stand out, you must show your achievements and how you helped the company. Did you bring in more clients? Have you trained people? Did you earn any recognition? How is that company better off from the service you provided for them during your time with them?
  • What honors or awards have you received? During the course of your career make sure you can document and share all the honors and awards earned over the years of employment. If you have any copies of annual reviews or reference letters from management share them with the writer.
  • What kind of professional development did you receive? Were you sent on a corporate outing or given any education to improve your performance, on the job training, and then received certification for that workshop?

After the client has provided this information they should also adhere to this:

  • Have access to a computer or laptop so they can enter their edits and promptly return them to the writer. (All free public libraries offer the use of computers)
  • Client’s cannot expect to efficiently edit their résumé on their mobile phone when necessary which will be quite often. It would be best if they at least owned a tablet with a keyboard. Microsoft Word .doc and .docx files are sent to the client along with a basic ASCII text file. They can also usually be edited and opened/viewed on free software like OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice.org however the writer is not responsible for, nor can guarantee document compatibility between software. Therefore your document may look skewed or resized. For this reason, we at The Talent Mill also include an Adobe PDF file that maintains the format. We provide our clients clear instruction with their final files on which files to use for which type of application, interview, etc.

Communicate with your writer and reply to emails which can be several during the writing process of your documents.

  • Get all the questionnaire answers back to the writer quickly. If the writer does not have information, they can’t write your resume. Remember they don’t know you personally. They ethically cannot just copy and paste data or job descriptions from another online résumé. It is imperative that the client provide answers. The career writing project is a collaborative effort, so the client needs to make themselves available to work with the writer. This is generally handled through emails or a quick text or call.
  • Résumé writers try to finish projects promptly since they continue to see more and more clients in today’s tight and downsizing job market. Most writers are usually working on documents for anywhere from two to ten clients simultaneously. Most projects are typically completed within the 7-10 day average industry turnaround time, dependent on how quickly the client returns emails, questionnaires, or text message replies from the writer or writer team.

REMEMBER: Achieving an impressive new résumé and other career documents or online profiles is a TEAM EFFORT between the client and their writer! Neither should go it alone.

Best of luck in your job search! ~Mill and the writing team 

*Need us to do it all for you? Text us at 201-667-2994 or drop us a note at https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form 

Black Friday Half Price for a New LinkedIn Profile or Résumé

***THIS DEAL ENDED ON 11/30/2018***

(Deal Ended 11/30/18 but keep in mind that we still offer 10% discount off our listed prices at various times throughout the year and always for New Jersey residents.)

“We are currently living through what is referred to as a digital job market. This makes job searching more convenient but also a bit more complicated for the not so tech savvy. If your career documents and online brand are not crafted and monitored carefully, you could risk losing out on job opportunities. By setting up Google alerts for your own name, and securing your social channels, you will increase your odds of landing interviews in today’s tight job market. Want more tips and updates for your #JobSearch? Follow our page.” ~Mill 

 

If you need personalized ONE on ONE #JobSearch help ACT NOW!

Deal expires November 30, 2018. 

Black Friday Half Price Deal for a LinkedIn or a Résumé – Expires 11/30/18

Click coupon above and schedule a 20 minute free chat about your choice of either a résumé development package or a LinkedIn profile re-write or creation for 1/2 off sale or post your comments or questions here and we will get back to you ASAP. You can also use the form below and let us know what you need.

 

If You’re Not on The Web, You’re Dead – Ten Reasons Why

By Mill Montejo the #JobSearchSuperhero

 

Ever since I left Corporate America in 2012 I have worked hard to increase my online presence through many social platforms. The inner geek in me saw the technology changes and direction many industries were taking and are continuing to head into.

If you’re not on the web you may as well be dead

I must share that many of my resume and LinkedIn clients often complain about how the nature of hiring has changed so drastically that they spend months looking for work to no avail. What are they doing wrong? Highly qualified, great references, yet no calls for an interview! The facts are simply this. Gone are the days when you could peruse a help wanted ad in the NY Times send out 40 resumes by “snail mail” and get someone to see or respond. Technology has made it possible for current employers to do more with less. On the bright side, using the same technology new industries have emerged that allow people to employ themselves with the biggest perk being flexible work schedules.

By using crowdsourced data, companies are helping to make life more efficient today for society at large. My goal is to educate clients on how we are entering the height of the technological revolution and there is no placing that ‘genie back in the bottle.’ As hard as it is to hear and accept, if you are not on the web, you may as well be dead.

the tech-genie is never going back into the bottle and is here to stay

So, if you want to be found in today’s changing technological world, you MUST have some type of web presence or you are invisible. You won’t be found and it will be extremely challenging to find that job or get that client if you work for yourself.  We need to adapt and change HOW we get noticed and connect through forums like LinkedIn or your own personal websites. If you are not on the web, you are dead.

 

Here are 10 things everyone should know about the web and how to use it to your advantage:

  1. You have to reinvent yourself. After years of work, today’s job market has changed tremendously. It used to be the norm that you could find ads online, send your resume that read “proven track record in…” Now resumes must be keyword heavy, with no grammatical or spelling errors, and plenty of numbers and facts to back up the “proven track record” you are claiming. There are many experienced job seekers for less available open jobs. It is an employers job market.
  2. Many job seekers still have a hard time believing that they can also find work by selling the skills they have built up through the years whether in school, work, or life.
  3. All they have to do is find a way to solve local people’s problems.
  4. Crowdsourcing apps WORK because people want to find the help that they need easily, quickly, and with the touch of a phone screen

If you have a smartphone in your purse or pocket then you know there is nothing more convenient than summoning it for everything you need

        For Example:

a) I needed a dog sitter quickly to check in on my new puppy on Fathers Day so I went on Rover.com’s app. Within a couple hours, a dog sitter was in my yard meeting my dog.

Need a dog sitter in a hurry? There’s an app for that.

b) I needed a gutter and tree trimming contractor. I found them via my local neighbor recommendations on the Nextdoor app that started as a neighborhood watch app and has grown to include home sales, garage sales, contractor recommendations and more.

Need any type of home services or repairs? There’s an app for that too.

c) Need an order of food picked up at a local restaurant that does not offer delivery? There are people who drive their own vehicles that now provide that service.

Think about where there are needs and sell your skills there. Go where the needs for services are.

5. People want convenience and are willing to spend a little extra, or in different ways to achieve it. Technological advances have put many people out of work, but they are also creating new innovative, and more flexible ways to work. 

6. Going to a new state and need a cheap place to stay for a couple of days? All the hotels booked or too expensive? Check out Airbnb where people like you and me rent out their couches, bedrooms, or garages for temporary use.

7. Need a last-minute ride somewhere local and can’t find a taxi or car service that has available cars? If you’re in an urban area or large city you can see available cars practically circling your home or location on a live map on your phone and summon them for a quick ride.

8. We must accept the fact that this tech-genie will never be put back into the bottle. You must adapt and change to survive in the digital economy and job market.

9. Don’t waste your energy on anger, resentment, fear of the future, and anxiety. If you can, instead turn that into renewed energy and think hard about your skills and how you can market and sell them to your local public.

10. In some cases, your clients don’t even have to be local. Because of the very same technology that’s put you out of work, people can reach and teach others stuff across the globe. If you produce online goods or services that others are willing to pay for then you can work from anywhere and make money.

 

In closing I would say that you have to think of everything as being able to be crowdsourced through an app or a website. Merriam Webster defines crowdsourcing as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” If you teach guitar, get on a crowdsourcing app, if you teach art, do the same. The jobs and exposure could add up to future and steady repeat clients, or recruiters and employers wanting to interview you.

Want us to help you get started, or do it all for you including sending out resumes, Myers-Briggs Testing, and personal reference and background checks on yourself so you know what they’re saying about you? Send us a message at

JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form or see all services and schedule a time to chat with us at

TheTalentMill | JobSearchSuperhero Calendar.

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